Dear Jody

By |2006-05-18T09:00:00-04:00May 18th, 2006|Opinions|

By Jody Valley

Caught him in the act

Q: Jody, I’ve just had the shock of my life! I’m still whirling in disbelief — at times in horror, as well as confusion. “James,” my partner for 23 years, has been unfaithful. I caught him in the act. You can’t understand how horrific it is to come home — unexpectedly — and find your love in bed with another man.
Then, if that wasn’t bad enough, I fainted, right there on the spot. In the bedroom with my naked partner and his naked lover! I came to, with them leaning over me — still naked — holding smelling salts. (I’ve been known to faint, on occasions, so we keep smelling salts on hand — luckily.) I almost fainted again seeing them that way. It was like I was in some kind of nightmare. I even pinched myself hoping that I was experiencing a bout with a night terror. But I didn’t wake up, and I keep waking up into this nightmare.
When my breath came to me, I screamed at James and the other naked dick to get out of the house and not to come back. I got up, went to the kitchen, and got a frying pan and headed after them both. I got a good whack at James at the place of his sin. (I have to say, that was the highlight of that fiasco, if one could have a highlight in such a case.) Both James and the dick were barely clothed when they flew out the door. The rest of their clothes were in their hands. I threw the dick’s keys — they had fallen on the floor — at them as I wanted them gone!
Think you’ve heard everything? Here’s the kicker: I’ve found out that this is not the first time that James has cheated on me! In fact, since I’ve been talking to others about James, I’ve heard that he’s been cheating on me for quite some time. I guess you only hear when you start asking questions, since no one has ever told me this before.
I haven’t seen James since. I have heard from his lawyer, through a letter. You won’t believe this, but he is threatening all kinds of legal action for my swatting him in the area of his sin. He’s claiming that he now cannot have sex! Like I care! That’s his just desserts! He was caught in the act and has brought on — for me — total mental distress, and he’s going to sue ME for his not being able to have sex. He should not have been having it with that DICK, and that’s why his apparatus is in a non-commission state! Furthermore, he should be happy that that’s all he can’t do, after what he has put me through. Where does he get off threatening me?
James has tried to call me, several times. (This happened two weeks ago.) I screen his calls and don’t answer them. I can’t imagine why he thinks I want to talk to him after what he has done. He is lucky that I haven’t already started legal action against him for my mental distress. I had to go to the doctor to get some medication for my nerves.
I have to say, though, that I am thinking that I should go to a lawyer myself and start a suit against him. My friends believe that I have a case against James. What I want to know is, do you think I have a case? Do you think I should try and take legal action?

A: I suggest that if you decide to pursue the legal route, you talk to a lawyer. Even if you don’t decide to take legal action yourself, you might want to talk to a lawyer, anyway. The legal fact is, you assaulted James, regardless of how you felt justified in doing it. Legally, you could be in trouble if he decides to press charges.
Now, in the areas that I am qualified to address, I have to say that I’m not in favor of doing things that stir things up even more than they are now. Throwing more anger into the situation will just stir up more anger on the other side — like throwing gas on a fire that becomes out of control. You don’t want to go there. It is in your best interest to calm things down. You could do this — given you can stay calm — by starting to talk to James when he calls, letting him know of your distress given what he did to you, but also expressing regret for having assaulted him. I would also advise you to invite James into couples counseling. Not necessarily to get back together, but to deal with everything that has just happened. It would give you a place to really talk about how betrayed you feel, as well as other issues that must be lurking in your relationship. Good luck and let me know how it goes.

Have a problem? Send your letters to: “Dear Jody,” C/O Between The Lines, 20793 Farmington Road, Suite 25, Farmington, MI 48336. Or, e-mail: [email protected] Jody Valley spent 12 years as a clinical social worker. She worked with the LGBT community both as a counselor and a workshop leader in the areas of coming out, self-esteem and relationship issues. The “Dear Jody” column appears weekly.

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BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.